Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy
Presenter: Andrew Tatarsky, PhD
Dates/Times: April 5-7, 2019, 9 am – 4 pm
Location: Boca Raton Campus, Location TBD
Accumulating evidence is moving us away from moral, criminal and reductive disease models toward viewing the spectrum of substance use as a psychobiosocial process that is multiply meaningful and varies on multiple dimensions in ways that are unique to each person. This shift implies the need for a personalized, integrative harm reduction psychotherapy for problematic substance users.
Tatarsky will discuss the limitations of the dominant disease model abstinence-only addiction/recovery narrative and introduce the new emerging paradigm, the psychobiosocial model of addiction, and an Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) based on it. IHRP is his integration of harm reduction principles into psychotherapy and substance use treatment. IHRP combines relational psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral and mindfulness techniques in a harm reduction frame to support positive change in substance use and related issues. IHRP’s seven therapeutic tasks will be described: managing the therapeutic alliance with harm reduction listening, the relationship as agent of healing, enhancing self-regulation and self-management skills, assessment as treatment (Denning), embracing ambivalence, harm reduction goal setting and personalized planning for positive change.
Specific skills and strategies with be demonstrated that participants can begin using immediately in their work. Participants are encouraged to bring their most difficult clinical moments and questions for discussion.
- Participants will be able to identify four of the seven therapeutic tasks of Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy.
- Participants will learn four core harm reduction engagement skills: empathic listening, collaborative inquiry with an alliance around compassionate curiosity, empathic reflection and checking in with therapeutic humility.
- Participants will learn “urge-surfing”, a technique for interrupting addictive urges and action to facilitate healing, growth and positive behavior change. This brings mindfulness and breath to the urge enabling pause, reflection on healthier alternatives and new behavior.
Andrew Tatarsky, PhD has developed Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) for treating the spectrum of risky and addictive behavior. IHRP brings psychoanalysis, CBT and mindfulness together in a harm reduction frame. The therapy has been described in his book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems, and a series of papers. The book has been translated into Polish and Spanish. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the City University of New York and is a graduate of New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is Founder and Director of the Center for Optimal Living in NYC, a treatment and training center; founding member and Past-President, Division on Addiction of New York State Psychological Association, and Member of the Medical and Clinical Advisory Boards of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Dr. Tatarsky trains nationally and internationally.
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